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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Mualle ~ Turkish Eggplant Lentil Stew 

 

This marvelous veggie stew from Southern Turkey is richly flavored, creamy-textured, and simply delicious. A hit of mild chili gives it some gentle heat, while pomegranate molasses lends a sweet and complex finish. Enjoy mualle as an entrée or side dish on a mezze table. Make mualle a little in advance to allow its flavors to meld and deepen fully.  Pair it with a batch of whole wheat yufka, a Turkish flatbread, for a truly memorable meal.  Whole food plant-based, gluten-free with no sugar, salt, oils.

 

Prep time 30 minutes              Passive Cooking time 90 minutes               Serves 3-4

 

Ingredients

2 young Italian eggplants, about 1 ½ pounds

½ cup green lentils

2 cups no-sodium veggie broth

1 medium onion, small dice

4 garlic cloves, minced

White wine or dry vermouth or no-sodium veggie broth to deglaze pan

2 large tomatoes, medium dice or 2 ½ cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 jalapeño or 2 poblano or Annaheim peppers, seeded and chopped

2 ½ Tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons mild chili flakes from Aleppo or Kashmiri peppers or ¼ teaspoon red peperoncino

flakes, or to taste

2 Tablespoons aka (red) miso•

¼ cup pomegranate molasses

 

  • Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension.).

 

Directions

 

There is no need to pre-salt or peel today’s eggplants, as modern variants are sweet and its peel, with all its healthy fiber, is tender and digestible.  Cut off eggplant stems, slight lengthwise in ½” slices and then cut each slice in thirds. Set aside.

 

Rinse lentils. Add to a small pot, cover with broth by 1-1 1/2”, bring to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer until soft but intact (15-20 minutes). Drain and reserve cooking broth.

 

In a skillet, dry sauté the onion over medium heat until they soften and begin to darken the pan. Deglaze with a splash of wine/vermouth/broth, dissolving all the carmelized sugars adhered to the pan with a wooden spoon.

 

Add the garlic, tomatoes, fresh chilis, mint, stirring.  Cook for 2 minutes then add chili flakes tomato paste and miso, stirring well to dissolve into the mix. Cover and cook on low for a few minutes more until tomatoes and softened, releasing their juices.  Taste to adjust seasonings as you like.  Set aside.

 

In a deeper or larger skillet, layer the mualle as follow:

  • Spread ½ cup of the sauté over the surface of the pan.
  • Using half the eggplant, lay down a layer of eggplant.
  • Layer on ½ the cooked lentils.
  • Then spread on half of the remaining sauté.
  • Place down the remaining eggplant.
  • Top with the remaining lentils.
  • Then spread on the remaining sauté.

 

Pour the lentil cooking water evenly over the layered mualle.

Do the same with the pomegranate molasses.

 

On the stovetop, bring the mualle to a gentle boil, cover, and lower to a VERY low simmer and cook for 90 minutes. The eggplant will become meltingly soft during this time. Taste for doneness. Remove from heat. Allow a few hours to cool before serving at room temp or heated.

 

Enjoy!

Mualle ~Turkish Eggplant Lentil Stew